Foxa1 and Foxa2 interact with the androgen receptor to regulate prostate and epididymal genes differentially

Xiuping Yu, Aparna Gupta, Yongqing Wang, Kichiya Suzuki, Janni Mirosevich, Marie Claire Orgebin-Crist, Robert J. Matusik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies from our group have shown that Foxa1 is expressed in the prostate and interacts with the androgen receptor (AR) to regulate prostate-specific genes such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and probasin (PB). We report here that Foxa2 but not Foxa1 is expressed in the epididymis. Further, Foxa2 interacts with the AR to regulate the mouse epididymal retinoic acid binding protein (mE-RABP) gene, an epididymis-specific gene. Binding of Foxa2 to the mE-RABP promoter was confirmed by gel-shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. Overexpression of Foxa2 suppresses androgen activation of the mE-RABP promoter while overexpression of Foxa2 with prostate-specific promoters activates gene expression in an androgen-independent manner. GST pull-down assays determined that both Foxa1 and Foxa2 physically interact with the DNA binding domain of the AR. The interaction between Foxa proteins and AR was further confirmed by gel-shift assays where Foxa protein was recruited to AR binding oligomers even when Foxa binding sites were not present, and AR was recruited to Foxa binding oligomers even in the absence of an AR binding site. Given that Foxa1 and Foxa2 proteins are expressed differentially in the prostate and epididymis, these data suggest that the Foxa proteins have distinct effects on AR-regulated genes in different male reproductive accessory organs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-93
Number of pages17
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Androgen receptor
  • Epididymis
  • Foxa
  • Prostate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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